The world’s largest 100% renewable biomethane refuelling station is to open on Bristol’s outskirts later this year, helping the city on its journey to be zero carbon by 2030.
The station, now under construction in Avonmouth, will be able to refuel 80 HGVs an hour from 14 high-speed dispensers.
It will join six existing refuelling stations already operational across the UK.
Sourced from 100% food waste, renewable biomethane is the most cost-effective, lowest carbon alternative to diesel for HGVs, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%, and cutting costs by 35-40%.
HGVs account for 4.2% of UK carbon emissions – so decarbonising the sector is essential to meet the UK’s goal of achieving net zero by 2050 and Bristol City Council’s plans to achieve zero carbon in nine years’ time.
Demand for renewable biomethane fuel from fleet operators is already growing at around 100% a year, according to CNG Fuels, the firm behind the station.
It said the trend is forecast to continue to accelerate and by 2025 around 10% of the UK’s high-mileage HGV fleet will be running on Bio-CNG.
CNG Fuels’ UK-wide network of refuelling stations has already opened up low-carbon deliveries from Inverness to Cornwall. It said it chose the site in Avonmouth for its largest station so far because it is on some of the busiest routes for HGVs in the UK.
The station will unlock low carbon deliveries across South West and South Wales for major brands including Warburtons, Farm Foods and Hermes along with regional water utility company Wessex Water, which has operations nearby.
CNG Fuels expects to open a further 14 stations by the end of 2022 in response to growing demand from household brands, supported by £80m of funding under a new partnership with Foresight Group.
CNG Fuels CEO Philip Fjeld said: “Avonmouth is a key site for CNG Fuels’ expansion across the UK. The site will allow companies to use low-carbon fuel for regular routes between London, the Midlands, South Wales, Cornwall and Devon.
“Such a strategically crucial location requires our biggest refuelling station yet. This station will enable even more fleet operators and hauliers to reduce their carbon emissions and save money.”
Wessex Water bioresources manager Sean Hill added: “We see biomethane as an excellent opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint of our haulage operations, as well as allowing us to operate more efficiently. This station, as well as others around the region, will allow a much wider uptake of CNG vehicles, which in turn will improve air quality and sustainability.”
CNG Fuels is currently securing supplies of biomethane derived from manure to create a fuel that will be net zero emissions on a well-to-wheel basis. It expects to begin offering carbon neutral biomethane across all sites from next year at the same price as the renewable biomethane fuel it currently supplies.
Manure gives off methane, a greenhouse gas 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Using methane as an HGV fuel prevents it from going into the atmosphere and reduces overall emissions.